3,300 CISF contingent to take full charge of Parliament security from 20 May; CRPF exits

The government directed CISF to take over the task from the CRPF following the 13 December security breach incident of last year.


Published May 19, 2024 | 4:45 PM Updated May 19, 2024 | 4:45 PM

Chaos after gas canisters were set off in Parliament by two youth on 13 December 2023 in severe security breach. (X)

By Neelabh Srivastava

More than 3,300 CISF personnel will take over the complete counterterrorism and anti-sabotage security duties at the Parliament complex from Monday, 20 May, following the withdrawal of over 1,400 CRPF staff from the country’s most important symbol of democracy, official sources said.

The parliament duty group (PDG) of the CRPF wound up its entire administrative and operational paraphernalia — vehicles, weapons and commandos — from the complex on Friday and its commander, a deputy inspector general (DIG)-rank officer, handed over all the security points in the complex to the incoming CISF group, the sources said.

A total of 3,317 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel are being inducted to secure both the old and new Parliament buildings and the associated structures in this complex located in central Delhi after the government directed it to take over the task from the CRPF following the 13 December security breach incident of last year, a senior officer told PTI.

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The breach in Parliament

In a major security breach on the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack, two persons jumped into the Lok Sabha chamber from the public gallery during Zero Hour on 13 December, 2023, released yellow smoke from canisters and shouted slogans before being overpowered by MPs.

Outside the Parliament premises around the same time that day, two other persons sprayed coloured smoke from canisters while shouting slogans.

Following this incident, a committee under the chairmanship of CRPF DG was set up to look into the overall security issues of the Parliament complex and make suitable recommendations.

The CISF counterterrorism security unit will take over the full charge of the Parliament complex from 6 am on Monday, 20 May, the officer said, requesting anonymity.

It has deployed its staff to guard all the flap entry gates of the complex, posted canine squads, fire fighting personnel along with fire tenders, manpower at CCTV monitoring control room and communication centre apart from the pass section, watch towers apart from specialists to undertake anti-sabotage checks and other operations at the Parliament complex, he said.

With this, the CRPF PDG, Delhi Police (about 150 personnel) and the parliament security staff (PSS) who jointly secured the Parliament till now, stand withdrawn, a senior CISF officer said.

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Undertaking familiarisation exercises

He said the CISF personnel have been undertaking familiarisation exercises of the complex for the last 10 days and the men and women personnel of the force who will man reception areas have been given light blue full-sleeved shirts and brown pants apart from safari suits as their new uniform.

The first officer quoted above added that the PDG unit is expected to be merged with the six-battalion strong VIP security wing of the CRPF, while the PSS staff could be tasked afresh for rendering security and protocol duties at other central government installations.

Some PSS staff could be retained for manning the lobbies of the house for marshal duties but a final decision is yet to be taken, he said.

The CISF contingent, according to sources, has been deployed in a temporary manner called the ‘internal security duty pattern’ and it is expected that it will be granted a full-fledged sanction as the new government assumes office after the ongoing general elections, sources said.

The CISF personnel have been imparted refresher training in baggage screening, personal frisking, bomb detection and disposal, quick reaction terrorist counter, sniper task and public interaction and courtesy before being sent for Parliament duty.

They have also trained recently with the ‘black cat’ commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG) who were air-dropped from an IAF helicopter on the new Parliament complex to simulate a terrorist attack, the sources said.

A CRPF officer said PDG troops who left the Parliament complex on 17 May clicked selfies and took photographs as a token of remembrance of “efficiently” guarding the country’s highest temple of democracy.

“During the 2001 terrorist attack, CRPF personnel showed extreme bravery along with personnel from other agencies to defeat the dastardly assault with one personnel laying down her life in the line of duty while some others receiving gallantry medals and in 2023 they were not responsible for the breach that took place.”

“The PDG personnel felt sad that they had to surrender this duty despite giving their best,” the CRPF officer said.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)